the Maldives

When is the best time to book international flights for a family holiday?

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When it comes time to plan an international family holiday, one of the most important questions after “where to go?” is “when to book?” With increased competition and low-cost carriers, airfares are getting cheaper and cheaper; however, when you’re booking flights for the entire tribe, it’s still important to snag the best deal possible. So when is the best time to book flights for an international family holiday? The short answer is sooner rather than later! While last minute deals could be tempting, tickets fluctuate in price so frequently that it’s a bit of a gamble – plus, school holidays sell out very quickly.

If you want to keep your eye out for your next holiday, we’ve put together a list of the most popular destinations from Australia, the best times to book, and airlines that offer deals frequently.

Best time to book flights to Bali

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Bali is Australia’s favourite holiday destination, and as a result, you can usually snatch up a great deal on flights to Denpasar. However, because the route is so popular, you’re best to book flights to Bali at least five months in advance for peak periods, as seats fill up quickly.

Full service airlines like Garuda have made a comeback in recent years, offering reasonable fares year-round as well as great baggage allowance and meals. However, the firm favourite is Jetstar – especially given the short flight time. To get the best deal, sign up to Jetstar’s email newsletters and book on a Friday, as their ‘Friday Fare Frenzy’ often includes great offers.

Best time to book flights to Phuket

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Phuket is quickly becoming one of the hottest holiday destinations in Asia, and this demand is driving down prices as there are multiple flights departing daily. But, like Bali, you have to get in quick for a good deal, as often seats on sale are snatched up quickly leaving only the more expensive allocations – especially for travel in December and January.

If you’re looking for a full service airline, book with Singapore Airlines or Malaysia Airlines, which have great deals in the off-season and are great with families.

Best time to book flights to the Maldives

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There aren’t any direct flights available from Australia to the Maldives as of yet, however the connections are relatively easy and the total flight takes around 14 hours at its shortest. When booking the Maldives, often you’re best looking for flights with Singapore Airlines, Etihad or Cathay Pacific, as they can arrange connecting flights directly to Male.

Cathay Pacific have early bird airfares in August for flights heading to the Maldives in peak season (January to April). Similarly, Singapore Airlines and Etihad open early bird sales in September of every year – a great opportunity to grab a good deal on your flight.

Best time to book flights to Europe

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If you’re travelling within school holidays to Europe, it’s recommended that you you’re your flights well in advance as prices can soar as your departure looms closer. Generally, flights can be booked just under one year prior to departure, and the sooner the better to Europe.

The best deals for Europe in summer often pop up from September through to November, for travel the following year. If you’re looking to hit the slopes for a European ski holiday, book a flight just before July for the best prices for the upcoming ski season.

Best time to book flights to the USA

The early bird catches the worm when flying to the US! According to research by Skyscanner.com.au, the best time to book your US adventure is 28 weeks in advance, which could save you almost $500 per ticket.

Qantas and Virgin are firm favourites for direct flights to the East Coast, offering reputable service for a good price.

Additional tips to help you book your family’s flights

We know it can be pretty overwhelming when looking for the best deal on flights, especially with the whole family in tow. Use these clever tips to make your life a little easier…

  • ✔️ Hopper’s Airfare Predictions App uses historical data to tell you when the best time is to book your flight. It’ll also notify you when your desired route is about to go up in price.

  • ✔️ Sites such as Skycanner, Kayak and Webjet allow you to compare flight costs and times to help you make the right call. They’re also great if you want to book multi-city trips or to combine airlines.

  • ✔️ Subscribe to the email list of all the major airlines if you’re gearing up for a holiday. They’ll send their best flights to you first – especially if you’re in their frequent flyer program!

  • ✔️ Search for the best deals on different IP addresses. Cookies stored in your computer allow airlines can track which routes you’re interested in and hike up the prices accordingly!

  • ✔️ Book package deals with hotels and accommodation to get a discounted airfare.

Ready to jet off on holiday? Discover Club Med’s family holiday packages in the video below or by clicking here.

Bucket List Diving: 10 Places You Need to Dive in Your lifetime

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Whether you're strapping on a snorkel for the first time, or you're an experienced scuba diver crossing sites off your bucket list; whether you want to swim with manta rays, or see shipwrecks up close...a diving holiday is one you won't forget in a hurry.Beneath the surface you'll find beautiful marine life, magnificent reefs and coral gardens. Plus you can get up close and personal with manta rays, barracudas, sharks, whales, turtles and schools of colourful fish.

It's time to jump in - here are 10 spots to dive in your lifetime.

 1. Okinawa, Japan

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The hundreds of islands in Okinawa boast some of the world’s most incredible and diverse dive sites, and a great spot to start is Ishigaki Island. Yonehara, Sukuji and Sunset beaches offer fantastic snorkelling, while numerous dive sites are close by, including ‘Manta Scramble’, which has depths of 15 metres and majestic manta rays to swim alongside.

2. The Maldives

The 26 natural atolls of the Maldives form a tropical paradise, and dive sites here are plentiful! From Club Med Kani, there are a multitude of different spots for all levels, ranging from 5 metres to 50 metres. The marine life in the Maldives is truly world-class, and divers can expect to see beautiful coral, manta rays, eagle rays, parrot fishes, and white/black tip reef sharks.

Divers should head to the Maldives in February – April for the best visibility and eagle rays, or June – November for manta ray season.

3. Mauritius

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As well as incredible beaches and beautiful oceans, Mauritius is home to an amazing underwater world with reefs teeming with marine life. The dive sites are diverse, with a few must-dives: Cathedral is known for its magnificent underwater cave housing angelfish, lionfish and lobsters at depths of 20-35 metres, while Colline Bambou has an underwater cliff.

4. Cancun, Mexico

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For a Mexican dive with a difference, head to the Cancun Underwater Museum. As well as hundreds of submerged statues, the artificial reef teems with barracudas, lobsters and eels. With visibility of around 30 metres and depths of 10 metres, the site sits off Isla Mujeres.

5. Punta Cana

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Punta Cana has a host of coral and artificial reefs to explore. Catalina Island is a nature reserve home to two popular dive sites. The Wall drops to 30 metres and features black coral and fast-moving fish. The Aquarium offers shallow depths and scores of colourful creatures.

6. Phuket, Thailand

Long a favourite destination for Aussies, Phuket offers amazing dives. The Phi Phi Islands, known worldwide thanks to 'The Beach', offers spots such as Bida Nok. With dramatic walls and colourful coral, the waters are filled with eels, octopuses and leopard sharks.

7. Corsica

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The French island of Corsica offers some of Europe's best diving. The UNESCO World Heritage listed Lavezzi Marine Reserve has 40 dive sites with depths of up to 60 metres and visibility of up to 30 metres. Barracudas and eagle rays are common in the fast-moving waters, particularly close to the many large granite boulders.

8. Belize

This small Central American country is home to the World Heritage-listed Blue Hole. Plunging to enormous depths of over 120 metres, there are multi-hued stalactites and stalagmites, plus turtles, reef sharks and giant groupers to see. Visibility ranges between 15 and 30 metres. 

9. Yongala, Queensland, Australia

Located in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, the eerie wreck of the SS Yongala is Australia’s most intact shipwreck. Accessible as a day trip from the city of Ayr, the Yongala plays host to manta rays, sea snakes and tiger sharks, and in winter, migrating whales. The wreck is at a depth of 30 metres with visibility of 10-15 metres.

10. Palau

A chain of 200 islands in the Pacific Ocean, Palau’s dive sites are renowned for underwater photography enthusiasts and lovers of marine life. Palau's world-famous Blue Wall has reef sharks, turtles and tropical fish, and depths range to 30 metres with visibility of up to 40 metres. Palau also offers a host of shipwrecks and coral reefs, with the waters home to some 1500 different species of fish.

Discover all Club Med sports in the video below or by clicking here.